Monday, I appeared on the Morning Blend. Wednesday, I ran with my idol Scott Jurek. I need to pinch myself, I can barely believe my good luck. When did life get so...fun?
As you may recall, I first learned about the amazing Scott Jurek and his ultramarathon prowess in Born to Run. That book lead me to his book, also a bestseller, which I reviewed here. Over the last few months, I've changed my diet, my training, and my attitude towards running, all thanks in part to him.
Scott was in town hosting a talk at Red Rock Running in Henderson. I had known about this for several weeks, but on Wednesday morning, a friend told me he was also leading a 3-miler before the talk. I think part of my brain exploded upon hearing the news. You mean, not only do I potentially get to meet him, but I also can run with him? Holy guacamole!
I said a silent prayer that he set a reasonable pace (I was toast if it was 7:30 or less) and made sure my socks were clean. Yeah, baby!
I left early for the talk, worried that traffic might be an issue, but ended up at the running store with an hour to kill. I wandered around Whole Foods (adjacent to the store), too nervous to eat and frantically texting a friend. Yes, I recognize the irony in all of this. Monday, I was on live TV and felt barely ruffled. On Wednesday, I was pacing, shaking, and sweating like a fool. This just meant so much to me. Seven short months ago, I was vomiting and passing out in my closet after that awful 14-miler. His book helped me through that and now I was about to meet him in person...whoa. What would I say? [don't talk about vomit, don't talk about vomit] What if they all ran too fast? I'm still a new runner...the other folks might all be seasoned pros...who do I think I am? I don't even look like a runner...
In short, as the Oatmeal aptly describes, the Blerch was back. And that lazy, nasty beast was sitting comfortably on my shoulder, content to tell me just how worthless and stupid I was.
Pushing past the incredibly desire to get in my car and drive to blessed safety of my living room, I forced myself into the running store. As to be expected, everyone was really welcoming. I probably looked like a sweaty, crazy deer in headlights, clutching my copy of "Eat & Run" in response to their friendly hello's. I made small talk, pretending to look at the running shorts while keeping an eye out for him. Then, just like that, he walked through the door.
And I immediately hid behind a rack of tank tops.
Several more minutes of positive self-talk, I summoned the courage to say hi. Several women were already chatting with him, which helped, so I felt less awkward. And as soon as we said hello, it was easy. Like, super easy.
There were no pretenses about him, no ego. Just a tall dude in a bright yellow shirt that had a slight Minnesota-n twang. I told him I was from the Midwest, too, and loved his book (especially the vegan chili) and he very kindly posed for a photo with me. AH!
(he seemed a little nervous, too, which TOTALLY helped. He's a real person! Yay for being human.)
During our chat, I snapped a selfie. Of course.
Scott gave a quick talk in front of the crowd and then patiently answered questions. They ranged from his favorite ultramarathons in the country to his views on recovery and taper. They were running questions of the nerdiest kind, super technical and very specific. I loved it. At one point, I looked around at all the happy runners, clad in their bright shirts and non-cotton socks and thought happily, "These are my people."
And this is how he signed my book.